Bath’s Historic Landmarks group working with state to preserve town’s status

by Trish Rudder

At the January 2, Town of Bath council meeting, Ryan Rebant, the Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC)  treasurer, said he contacted Meredith Dreistadt, the Certified Local Government (CLG) coordinator for the state Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

The Bath Town Council received a letter from SHPO in late October regarding 33 property owners and Bath residents who contacted the state office that were concerned that the local government lacked preservation efforts and commitment to preserving the town’s historic resources.

Rebant said he is working with Dreistadt on those suggested improvements outlined in the letter to avoid a revocation of the town’s local government status.

The letter was from Susan Pierce, deputy state historic preservation officer, who wrote that according to state law, the town had until February 13, 2024 to implement improvements or revocation would be recommended.

Rebant said he was told by Dreistadt to just provide proof of these improvements and that the Historic Landmarks Commission was not in any danger of losing its certification status and not to worry about the February deadline.

Mayor Scott Merki said he wants a letter back from SHPO that “we are not in danger of losing certification.”

Rebant said the town ordinance committee is working on a demolition review ordinance with Landmarks committee input.

He said the committee will have more public workshops to provide a better understanding of preserving historic properties and the financial incentives for historic preservation.

In the meeting, Rebant requested and received the council’s approval of the application of Ken Hoagland to serve on the Commission.

He also said member Zachary Salman is not resigning from the Commission, that Melissa Shod will become a committee member to replace Joyce Jones, and Jones will take over Shod’s note-taking responsibilities during the meetings.

The next HLC meeting will be held at the town municipal building on Thursday, January 25 at 2 p.m.